Duterte: We may soon exercise fishing rights in Scarborough

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — Months after the Philippines won its maritime case against China in The Hague, Filipino fishermen are still barred by Chinese government vessels from entering Scarborough Shoal.

But this may no longer be the case, as President Rodrigo Duterte announced Filipino fishermen may soon exercise fishing rights in Scarborough Shoal.

"We'll just wait for a few more days,  baka makabalik na tayo doon sa Scarborough Shoal ang pangingisda ng ating mga kababayan," Duterte said during his visit to tyhphoon-hit Cagayan on Sunday.

(Translation: "We'll just wait for a few more days,  Filipino fishermen may be allowed to enter Scarborough Shoal.")

Related: Filipino fishermen still barred from Scarborough Shoal

Related: Duterte on Filipinos' fishing rights in Scarborough Shoal: 'I leave it to the Chinese authorities'

Duterte said Chinese President Xi Jingping also informed him that Chinese fishermen have already been asked to leave the disputed waters. 

"Ang pagkaalam ko, pinaalis na rin niya (Xi Jingping) 'yung mga Chinese fisherman at parang wala nang makita dyan," Duterte said. 

(Translation: "As far as I know, he (Xi Jingping) asked Chinese fishermen to leave so that they can no longer be spotted in the disputed waters.)

Meanwhile, Duterte said his Chinese counterpart also vowed to allot a "big slice" of assistance for agriculture, particularly mechanized farming and opening a government-run cooperative for farmers.

"Ako po ay nagpunta doon (China), wala po kaming pinag-usapang armas, wala ho kaming pinag-usapang giyera. Ang pinag-usapan namin ay kung paano tayo magtulungan," he said. 

(Translation: "I went there (China), we did not talk about arms, we did not talk about war. We talked about how we can help each other.")

From Cagayan, the President will proceed to Ilagan City in Isabela, and then to Laoag City in Ilocos Norte. The President will return to Manila tonight.